Japan's daily COVID-19 cases on Saturday topped 110,000 to set a new record as the country grapples with a seventh wave of coronavirus infections partly driven by the highly transmissible BA.5 Omicron subvariant.
The previous record was around 104,000 infections, set on Feb. 3 during the sixth wave of the virus. While infections were on a steady decline since then, a resurgence has been seen from late June.
On Friday, the government's response headquarters decided on key prevention measures including calling on people to get vaccinated and tested, and to ventilate spaces.
With the medical system currently able to maintain services, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said the government is not considering restricting people's movement so far, and that it will maintain a balance of socioeconomic activities and measures to keep infections from spreading further.
No infection peak is in sight, and there are concerns that numbers of patients in serious condition and of deaths will rise.
A total of 114 people are currently experiencing serious COVID-19 symptoms, up by seven from Friday, according to the health ministry.
Compared with the highest totals of around 2,200 and 1,500 such patients during the fifth and sixth infection waves, respectively, the numbers are still low. However, fears remain that a further rise in infections could lead to ballooning numbers of those who are seriously ill.
In previous infection waves, rises in people with serious COVID-19 symptoms lagged behind increasing infection numbers.
The highest-reporting prefectures on Saturday were Tokyo with 18,919 new cases, Osaka with 12,351, Kanagawa at 7,638 and Aichi with 7,269. Twenty people nationwide were reported to have died.